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Discussion Questions

by Foundation for Economic Education

1. What does Ridley mean when he says “in a sense, we’re all kings now”?

2. What is the result of increased exchange and specialization Ridley mentions in the video?

3. What are some other examples of “servants” that you or your family uses? What are some ways in which you or your parents serve others?

EoE: 2.3.B - Everybody is Working for Everybody Else

Matt Ridley highlights how market interactions depend on people doing things for each other, enabling the average person today to enjoy luxuries that were once the province of nobility. “Louis XIV … had 498 people to prepare his dinner every night. But you know what? Every single one of you has 498 people to prepare your dinner tonight. They’re working in cafés and bistros and restaurants and shops all over town, but each of them is ready at an hour’s notice to give you an extremely good meal that is probably less likely to have salmonella in it than Louis XIV’s did." This video is included as part of a 40-lesson course on the Economics of Entrepreneurship available now for teachers and students at no charge at

from 2.3B Matt Ridley - The Rational Optimist - Everybody is Working for Everybody Else (2016)
Creator: Rational Optimist
Posted by Foundation for Economic Education